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Nintendo Details Switch Online Plans

by Donald Theriault - May 7, 2018, 6:28 pm PDT
Total comments: 38 Source: Nintendo.

"Save custody" is about to become a buzzword.

Nintendo has detailed the Switch's online service, though has still not given a date beyond September.

The service will be US$19.99 or equivalent for a single account, or $34.99 for a family plan that will include up to seven other accounts. Creating a family will go live on May 15. According to Nintendo's FAQ, signing into a compatible account on any Switch that has purchased the service. Online play for select titles will require a paid account after launch, with the following games called out: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, ARMS, Splatoon 2, Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido, and Mario Tennis Aces. Other games "will vary".

Cloud saving will be a part of the online service, with more details to come after launch. A collection of 20 NES games will come with the service at launch with more added later. The ten announced titles include Soccer, Tennis, Balloon Fight, The Legend of Zelda, Ice Climber, Mario Bros., Donkey Kong, Dr. Mario, and Super Mario Bros. 1/3. Voice chat will be supported for the games through the Switch online app, and in the case of single player games control can be passed from player to player.

Special offers will also be made available to Nintendo Switch Online subscribers, with details to be announced.

Talkback

broodwarsMay 07, 2018

Man, what a **** show.

"We're rolling out an online service that's mandatory for some games but not for others on a console that really hasn't justified online play."

Yeah, I'm not going to pay into this. The only Switch game I could even imagine wanting to play online is Splatoon 2, and that's only because there is no other way to enjoy the game's main gameplay. I never played Smash online on Wii or Wii U. I see nothing compelling in those NES games, either.

That's just not good enough for $20 a year.

SeacorMay 07, 2018

Lakatu Save Data Cloud Backup! Finally!

LemonadeMay 07, 2018

CLOUD SAVES!!!!!!!!!

Also, RIP Virtual Console. You will not be missed (by me). I don't like NES games very much, but its a nice bonus.


I don't understand the family membership. Is that needed for multiple Switch units or multiple user accounts on one Switch?

pokepal148May 07, 2018

Cloud saves alone are worth it for me. Also online Baloon Fight sounds like an amusing time although I am disappointed that apparently it will just be NES games for now.

If they want to make the app a thing they need to fucking let third parties set up their games to work with the app. I assumed that the reason why the Payday 2 devs weren't allowed to use the app is because they were planning to ditch it in favor of a system wide voice chat system but apparently that isn't the case so I don't see why devs apparently aren't allowed to put voice chat in their switch games right now.

wcmullinsMay 07, 2018

Sometime next year maybe we’ll get snes games fml

AdrockMay 07, 2018

Quote from: Adrock

$20 a year isn’t a difficult sell though at the very least (in addition to what’s already announced like the Classic Games Selection), I want cloud saves. Is that asking too much?

Nice.

There still needs to be a local backup feature.

TOPHATANT123May 07, 2018

Every part of this is terrible. The family plan is dumb if it forces you to pay for internet for separate users on the same Switch, in most cases the accounts are completely arbitrary and a self imposed restriction by developers forcing you to make a new account to make a new save file. Like virtual console before it I assume the NES subscription will become a trickle after launch.

I will probably go for it once Smash is out but before then it feels like a slap in the face.

SorenMay 07, 2018

Hey let's put the only way to backup saves on Switch behind a paywall.


Fuck them

AdrockMay 07, 2018

Ehh, cloud saves just got announced. I’ll reserve my anger if it remains the only way to backup saves.

EnnerMay 07, 2018

Assuming save file hacking was the easy gateway to compromising the 3DS and the Wii U, it is safe to assume that the Nintendo Switch Online service will be the only way to back up your saves.


The Family plan might be a neat thing depending on how it's handled. An opportunity to get 8 people ready for Nintendo's online stuff.


With the other titles "varying" in requiring the premium service for online functionality, that does open speculation on what games you need to pay for online multiplayer. Other Nintendo-developed games such as Smash Bros is obvious. But will Pokemon Switch be free since Pokemon Bank is already a separate yearly subscription? Will games that are using other servers or matchmaking such as Rocket League and Minecraft be playable online without Nintendo Switch Online subscription? Very curious, and potentially muddying the deal of Nintendo Switch Online.


I'll be signing up for a year out of curiosity and the save back ups. I might spring for the family plan to see how it works and get my friends online, assuming nothing funny happens with designating a Nintendo Online Account a dependent in the Nintendo Switch Online service.

pokepal148May 07, 2018

Quote from: Enner

Assuming save file hacking was the easy gateway to compromising the 3DS and the Wii U, it is safe to assume that the Nintendo Switch Online service will be the only way to back up your saves.

IDK about the 3DS but on Wii U it was the Web Browser that killed it. You literally load some files on an SD card and go to a certain website to hack the Wii U. It's kind of amazing. You can even homebrew the Wii Mode that way.

Luigi DudeMay 07, 2018

Right now it might not seem like much with only 20 NES games but several years from now when it contains hundreds of games from varies Nintendo and hopefully third party systems like Genesis and TurboGrafx again, it'll be a pretty damn good deal.

They've basically turned the Virtual Console into a subscription service now.  If it ends up getting any where near what the Wii had, paying $20 a year to have access for all those games is a steal to me considering how much I payed for everything individually on the Wii and Wii U.

SorenMay 07, 2018

Quote from: Luigi

Right now it might not seem like much with only 20 NES games but several years from now when it contains hundreds of games from varies Nintendo and hopefully third party systems like Genesis and TurboGrafx again, it'll be a pretty damn good deal.

I've seen people mention this several times on Twitter and other places. Given Nintendo's support of legacy software what makes people think this will actually happen?

GKMay 07, 2018

Wait wait wait....Sushi Striker: The Way of Sushido will have online play?!

StratosMay 07, 2018

I feel like they are still holding back because of some big secret they have at E3, so they are getting the 'basics' out of the way.

broodwarsMay 07, 2018

Quote from: Luigi

Right now it might not seem like much with only 20 NES games but several years from now when it contains hundreds of games from varies Nintendo and hopefully third party systems like Genesis and TurboGrafx again, it'll be a pretty damn good deal.

They've basically turned the Virtual Console into a subscription service now.  If it ends up getting any where near what the Wii had, paying $20 a year to have access for all those games is a steal to me considering how much I payed for everything individually on the Wii and Wii U.

Because Nintendo's history with the Virtual Console DEFINITELY indicates that that will actually happen, and that they won't abandon it the next time something shiny rolls their way. -_-

Nintendo hasn't earned the benefit of the doubt when it comes to services like this.

If the retro games keep coming on a regular basis and they expand it to other platforms along the way then this service sounds great, but broodwars is 100% right here, based on how long it's taken them to put this together and their very checkered past with anything involving online play, they probably don't deserve the benefit of the doubt with this.

AdrockMay 08, 2018

If the retro selection expands to third party games, it’s probably better if the selection cycles every month/few months rather than Nintendo indefinitely adding titles. That way, if there’s a rights issue, certain games can be quietly removed.

I don’t play online often. However, I’m willing to give this a chance for $20. I balk at $5 a month yet $1.67 a month is reasonable. I suppose I found my line in the sand.

SteefosaurusMay 08, 2018

Still a bummer they're locking previously free features behind a paywall now, regardless how 'low' that wall is. Particularly for relatively barebones titles like ARMS, I can't see how they benefit from this. Casual people who play once a month at most might just drop off entirely now.

Hope to be proven wrong here, but yeah I'm sceptical for now. No buy for now.

Nintendo is being very specific with their wording, but it appears the concept of a "virtual Console" for switch has a nail in the coffin.


“There are currently no plans to bring classic games together under the Virtual Console banner as has been done on other Nintendo systems,”

I wouldn't be surprised if that's more them saying the "virtual console" branding itself is dead, but still...

SorenMay 08, 2018

Quote from: Steefosaurus

Still a bummer they're locking previously free features behind a paywall now, regardless how 'low' that wall is. Particularly for relatively barebones titles like ARMS, I can't see how they benefit from this. Casual people who play once a month at most might just drop off entirely now.

Hope to be proven wrong here, but yeah I'm sceptical for now. No buy for now.

A lot of these communities will just be cut off. ARMS might not suffer much since the only people left are hardcore players but the next time there's a Party Crash or a Splatfest in Splatoon 2 you won't see an influx in new players because the people who only played these games once or twice a month aren't really getting an incentive to join.

I was very frustrated with Splatoon 2's server stability over the last Splatfest. I was DC'd so many times, and at one point the game warned me about being suspended when the problem wasn't even on my side. Nothing about these details suggest to me that Nintendo is doing anything on their side to improve the quality of the experience you have. And that includes the stupid fucking phone app that's been eating up space in my phone for almost a year now. People may balk at paying $60 for the same thing on other consoles but the way in which the service works, the ease with which I can join a party and play games and chat, that matters so much. Having the service be as simple and as intuitive as possible helps you focus on the experience that really matters. The games.

Hell, the idea of still having some games with free online after September is so bad and confusing to people! If you couldn't sell your partners on this thing maybe you should have taken that as a sign that this whole paid online thing, the way it is currently structured, is a half baked mess.

So half baked that you had to quietly release details of it in the middle of the night for EU/most of NA.

AdrockMay 08, 2018

I wonder if the exceptions for the membership requirement are things like Splatfests or other limited special tournament dealies. Nintendo could be hoping to convince some of the people who take part in those events to sign up for a membership. No comment on whether that would work, but it makes more sense than trying to explain to people that Game A requires a membership while Game B is free.

Or it could be something simple like leaderboards in Super Mario Odyssey’s Koopa Races or jump rope mini-game. You’re not really playing online, but Nintendo allows you to upload your scores as long as you have a My Nintendo account linked.

Quote from: Adrock

I wonder if the exceptions for the membership requirement are things like Splatfests or other limited special tournament dealies. Nintendo could be hoping to convince some of the people who take part in those events to sign up for a membership. No comment on whether that would work, but it makes more sense than trying to explain to people that Game A requires a membership while Game B is free.

In that sense, it would work a lot like the Overwatch Free weekends and things like that. 


It still doesn't sit well with me that this will retroactively gate-off already released games online multiplayer behind a paywall. I know they've already stated as such when they originally announced they were doing an online pay service, but still. 



EnnerMay 08, 2018

Quote from: Soren

I was very frustrated with Splatoon 2's server stability over the last Splatfest. I was DC'd so many times, and at one point the game warned me about being suspended when the problem wasn't even on my side. Nothing about these details suggest to me that Nintendo is doing anything on their side to improve the quality of the experience you have. And that includes the stupid fucking phone app that's been eating up space in my phone for almost a year now. People may balk at paying $60 for the same thing on other consoles but the way in which the service works, the ease with which I can join a party and play games and chat, that matters so much. Having the service be as simple and as intuitive as possible helps you focus on the experience that really matters. The games.

I'm under the impression that the Splatoon series multiplayer operates on a peer-to-peer structure, so the subscription money isn't going to adding dedicated servers, as far as we know.

SteefosaurusMay 08, 2018

Quote from: Soren


Hell, the idea of still having some games with free online after September is so bad and confusing to people! If you couldn't sell your partners on this thing maybe you should have taken that as a sign that this whole paid online thing, the way it is currently structured, is a half baked mess.

So half baked that you had to quietly release details of it in the middle of the night for EU/most of NA.



The fact that they're dropping the bad news a month before E3 kinda says it all, really. Rip off the bandaid early before tainting the hype cycle.

By the way, just wanna point out how almost exactly a year ago I kinda called the 'only for our own games cause we didn't convince anyone else yet' nature of the online service. Put 20$ on that too, in further coincidence, haha.

Quote from: Steefosaurus

20$ - paid online service will receive very little explanation. It will only work for several games (Spla2n, ARMS, MK8) because Nintendo hasn't made any deals yet with third party online games like FAST RMX. Some games will remain free online and everything will work on an ad-hoc basis that will infuriate comment sections.

AdrockMay 08, 2018

I don’t think Nintendo releasing info in the middle of the night implies it was intentionally trying to do so quietly. This is the same company that did a Nintendo Direct Mini in January without telling anyone. Nintendo just does things sometimes.

CaterkillerMatthew Osborne, Contributing WriterMay 08, 2018

The only thing I really hate is that there is still no text messaging to my friends! When I play Pokken and see my friends online there are no lobbies, so its impossible to see what they are doing and I can't invite them to our private groups.

I just want to tell people that I'm playing X, join me.


I hate voice chat as well so I'm certainly not going to do it with the dumb phone app. I liked chatting with you guys over the years but other random people I meet online seem to have only a high level of gaming skill with an equally low level of social skills.

AdrockMay 08, 2018

I don’t personally care for voice chat since I prefer local multiplayer and rarely play online anyway. Regardless, I understand the value of voice chat in general and particularly in co-op games. It should be there and not asininely implemented into a separate app.

ForgottenPearlMay 08, 2018

Rather than give us dedicated servers to improve the overall online experience to justify the price, Nintendo gives us NES games... again. 

nickmitchMay 08, 2018

To be honest, if Nintendo was going to overhaul the app (as they need to), I think they'd lump it into this announcement.  Otherwise, I guess they're gonna talk about it at E3 and dedicate a chunk of time to talk about how they fixed a problem they invented.

Mop it upMay 08, 2018

Quote from: Mop

I'm looking forward to the classic games with online added. I'm hoping Mario Bros. is one of them, that's a fun co-op game.

Woo!

GKMay 08, 2018

Quote from: Caterkiller

The only thing I really hate is that there is still no text messaging to my friends! When I play Pokken and see my friends online there are no lobbies, so its impossible to see what they are doing and I can't invite them to our private groups.

I just want to tell people that I'm playing X, join me.


I hate voice chat as well so I'm certainly not going to do it with the dumb phone app. I liked chatting with you guys over the years but other random people I meet online seem to have only a high level of gaming skill with an equally low level of social skills.

Yeah as it stands now a friend may jump into a Splatoon 2 lobby I'm in if there's an opening. I wouldn't mind a "join friend's lobby" message popping up post-game so we can meet up.

Is there a NWR Discord Server? I haven't talked to you guys in a game since Monster Hunter Tri...

Linkle LinkMay 08, 2018

Quote from: GK

Is there a NWR Discord Server? I haven't talked to you guys in a game since Monster Hunter Tri...

Yes, there is. Just click on this NWR Discord article link to get the invite needed to join.

GKMay 09, 2018

Quote from: Linkle

Quote from: GK

Is there a NWR Discord Server? I haven't talked to you guys in a game since Monster Hunter Tri...

Yes, there is. Just click on this NWR Discord article link to get the invite needed to join.

Thank you!

Mop it upMay 14, 2018

Now wait a minute! There is already someone in NWR's Discord named GX, who I thought was GK. But if not GK, then who is GX on here?

Linkle LinkMay 14, 2018

Apparently GX doesn't really use the forums. I asked him a couple days ago on Discord if he does but he said he hardly comes on here or checks them out so I have no idea if he even has a username with the forums or not. Like you, I thought maybe GX and GK were the same but then GK asked for the Discord link and that was the end of that nice little theory.

GKMay 15, 2018

So changing my nickname there to GK probably wouldn't help, huh?

Linkle LinkMay 15, 2018

Use whatever you want. People will be able to figure out you are two different users. It's just that since there was no GX on the forum and your username was so similar to that which caused a couple of us to think you were the same. But now that's all cleared up. So, use what you want.

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